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Definition - What does Solvation mean?

Solvation is the process of attraction and association of molecules of a solvent with molecules or ions of a solute. As ions dissolve in a solvent, they spread out and become surrounded by solvent molecules.

Solvation is an important role of a solvent in the corrosion process. Changes in solvent composition alter solvation properties. The solubility of metals from solvent to solvent significantly varies due to differences in solvation properties.

Corrosionpedia explains Solvation

Solvation is the process in which there is some chemical association between the molecules of a solute and those of the solvent.

Solvation is, in concept, distinct from dissolution and solubility. Dissolution is a kinetic process, and is quantified by its rate. Solubility quantifies the dynamic equilibrium state achieved when the rate of dissolution equals the rate of precipitation.

For aqueous solutions, the term used is hydration. Intermolecular interaction between solvent molecules and ions are particularly important in solutions of electrolytes, since ions exert especially strong forces on solvent molecules.

The solvation model can also be applied to insoluble material where ion exchange processes occur on a solid surface. It is considered an important process to understand in chemistry, as most chemical reactions occur in a state of solution.

The process of solvation only occurs with polar solvents, of which water is one. When the solvation process occurs, solvation energy levels also change. Energy is released when the solvent coordinates with the free ions, which is known as the energy of ligation. As the ions disperse in the solvent, the energy is bound up in a process known as energy of dispersion.

Plastic materials can be attacked by solvation and chemical reaction. Solvation is the penetration of the plastic by corrosive elements that cause softening, swelling and ultimate failure.

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